Thursday, February 28, 2013

Are you willing to cannibalize?

This morning I realized that I have been using my shaver for many years. I can’t remember how many. More than 10 years for sure.

Got me thinking – Gillette has been creating new shavers after new shavers that cannibalize their previous successful shaver.

So, you can grow while cannibalizing your own products. In fact, that may be the only way to thrive and grow.

What will feed your business?

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What did you solder today?

Sometimes finding the solution to a challenge isn’t just about analyzing the data. When you analyze, you break the data down.

Sometimes what it takes is synthesizing. When you synthesize data or information from different sources, you combine them and make sense of them.

That, could be a better way to a solution than just analyzing.

When do you break things down?

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

What’s the value of 1% more?

A friend posted this image on Facebook a few weeks ago. A message worth repeating. Briefly the sign translates as:

If every day of the year you give 1% more than your full effort, in a year you would improve 37.8 times. And if every day of the year you give 1% less than your full effort, in a year you would only improve by 0.03 times.

What’s your compounded effort rate?

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Monday, February 25, 2013

What did you learn?

We label things based on our previous experiences. That’s why we can both look at something and have very different interpretations of it. But when you hear a proposal and it sounds like something you have done before and did not have a very good experience with, don’t label your previous experience as “bad.” Because when you do that, you will stop listening.

Instead, ask “what did I learn from the previous experience?” When you do this, there is no label of good and bad. There is only learning. And with learnings, you can improve. Good or bad.

What will you learn if you listen?

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Are you in the creative industry?

Marketing is creative work but many marketers do not think that way. They think that marketing is a logical liner path. Far from it, for your brand to stand out from the crowd it has to be different. A different product, a different offering, a different market, a different price, a different way of distributing – all these before we even talk about the branding process and its expression often called advertising. Most times, when marketers talk about creativity in marketing – the first thought that comes to mind is advertising.

Which part of your work is creative?

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Do you think you can escape?

If you have knowledge of certain information, you can bet that some other people know it as well. Knowing this should warn you to be careful when you think you can bend the rules and that others won’t find out.

Sooner or later someone will rat on you.

Isn’t the truth a much better option?

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Will you step into my parlour?

It’s quite sad that some marketers think of themselves as a spider. And the consumer as a fly. I suppose it is fine as long as you only want to do business once. 

The Spider and The Fly – Mary Howitt (1799-1888)

“Will you step into my parlor?” said the spider to the fly;
“’Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you did spy.
The way into my parlor is up a winding stair,
And I have many pretty things to show when you are there.”
“O no, no,” said the little fly, “to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair can ne’er come down again.”

“I’m sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high;
Will you rest upon my little bed?” said the spider to the fly.
“There are pretty curtains drawn around, the sheets are fine and thin,
And if you like to rest awhile, I’ll snugly tuck you in.”
“O no, no,” said the little fly, “for I’ve often heard it said,
They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed.”

Said the cunning spider to the fly, “Dear friend, what shall I do,
To prove the warm affection I’ve always felt for you?
I have within my pantry good store of all that’s nice;
I’m sure you’re very welcome; will you please to take a slice?”
“O no, no,” said the little fly, “kind sir, that cannot be;
I’ve heard what’s in your pantry, and I do not wish to see.”

“Sweet creature!” said the spider, “You’re witty and you’re wise!
How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your eyes!
I have a little looking-glass upon my parlor shelf,
If you’ll step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself.”
“I thank you, gentle sir,” she said, “for what you’re pleased to say,
And bidding you good-morning now, I’ll call another day.”

The spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
For well he knew the silly fly would soon be back again:
So he wove a subtle web, in a little corner sly,
And set his table ready to dine upon the fly.
Then he came out to his door again, and merrily did sing
“Come hither, hither, pretty fly, with the pearl and silver wing:
Your robes are green and purple; there’s a crest upon your head;
Your eyes are like the diamond bright, but mine are dull as lead.”

Alas, alas! how very soon this silly little fly,
Hearing his wily flattering words, came slowly flitting by.
With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew
Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue;
Thinking only of her crested head — poor foolish thing! At last,
Up jumped the cunning spider, and fiercely held her fast.
He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den,
Within his little parlor; but she ne’er came out again!

And now, dear little children, who may this story read,
To idle, silly, flattering words, I pray you ne’er give heed;
Unto an evil counselor close heart, and ear, and eye,
And take a lesson from this tale of the Spider and the Fly.

What should you be?

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Why are you using it?

Tools can be interesting (doesn’t matter what tools really, pick your choice.) It’s interesting because it allows you to complete certain tasks with ease. It could be kitchen utensils, gardening, or tools for carpentry work.

But to make the best use of the tools, you need to know how to use them, what is it best used for, and better yet - have a basic knowledge of how to use it. Otherwise it can hurt you more than help you.

Just because it looks easy doesn’t mean you can do it well.

Have you thought about it carefully?

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Who are you?

If you keep saying you want to stay true to yourself, then how can you also say you want to be better? I bet the people who say these sorts of statements almost certainly do not think about them deep enough. First they will have to sit and define who they really are. Then they say, based on the list they have come up about themselves – “I have to stay true to this. Good or bad.”

They use it to defend their bad behavior and lie about their actions.

Who’s the true you?

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Friday, February 8, 2013

How have you cared?

When customers complain, it is obvious that they care enough to make that call or email that grouse. You could argue they only care about themselves. And that is precisely why you should care and use that as an opportunity to out-care them than your competitors.

Make your apology real. Say, “We are sorry.” Make the compensation worth it. Be generous with it. I know, the common fear is, “what if every customer did the same and take advantage of us?

The answer is this, when customers make complains they first want to be heard. They could be angry, frustrated, disappointed. They want a listening ear and they want you to fix their problems with your service or products. Maybe 0.05% of your customers have fleecing you in mind. But by and large, they just want to be heard and cared for.

If you can up the caring, you may have just recruited a brand evangelist.

Who is going to care on your behalf?

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

What did you plant?

If you lament that you do so much work and never see the fruits of your labour, perhaps it isn’t because the fruits aren’t there.

Sometimes it is a matter of knowing what you sowed. At other times, it could be because you under estimated the time it takes to bear fruits. Maybe you have pre-conceived notions of how the fruits should look.

You always reap what you sow. Sometimes the toughest part isn’t sowing. It’s recognising the fruits.

Can you recognise its fruits?

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Do you have the credibility?

Before you recommend me something, you must first know if you carry some credibility with me. That there is some form of trust. 

Intrinsic in a recommendation is credibility and trust. Without them, you can use the word “recommend” all you want but no one will take it up. 

How are you building trust?

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Do you care how it is done?

If you don’t, perhaps you should. You often hear bosses saying to their subordinates “I don’t care how it’s done so long as it is done.” Somehow people feel it sounds damn cool when yelled out loud. But is it? 

I think it should be “I care that it is done and done the right way.” Saying not to care how it is done is a permission to trash your ethics out to crumbs, that it is OK to bastardize good old values like integrity and honesty.

When more and more people get things done without caring how it is done infiltrate our collective business consciousness, that’s when we all have to pay for it. One way or another, whether as business people or as consumers. We all pay.

Values and performance must go hand in hand. Values AND performance. Not “OR”.

Do you know how it was done?

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Monday, February 4, 2013

Do you resist or embrace?

We are faced with situations that demands for change from our comfortable ways. We can choose to ignore or embrace the challenge for the better

The senior citizens that takes on digital despite the fear. 

What about you?

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Friday, February 1, 2013

Did you hear that?


They can come as suggestions, criticisms, advice and compliments. Distinguishing what the feedback is and knowing what to do about it opens up a little hole for the light to shine in.

It maybe all your seed needs to grow.

Do you comprehend?

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